No Retreat, No Surrender: Labor's War at Hormel

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9780688077457: No Retreat, No Surrender: Labor's War at Hormel
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Details the bitter 1984 war that broke out between labor and management at the Hormel packinghouse in Minnesota over wage concessions

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From Publishers Weekly:

Two Minneapolis Star Tribune journalists here present a superlative account of an American social tragedy. After decades of friendly labor relations and ever-rising living standards for workers at the Hormel meatpack ing plant in Austin, Minn., the authors report, company management cited competitive pressures in the early 1980s to seek wage cuts and other union concessions. Inept and unyielding negotiation attempts on both sides, as Hage and Klauda tell it, led to a strike. Suspenseful hopelessness grips the reader as powerful forces and fateful blunders overwhelm Local P-9 of the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee and its charismatic but intransigent leader, Jim Guyette, who pursues enthusiastically supported but increasingly unrealistic expectations. Mediation procedures, court appeals, labor board rulings and his own parent-union structure eventually go against him. The authors' narrative skill, seemingly acute objectivity and reasoned compassion bring vividly to life the sudden and locally incomprehensible shattering of a labor dream town's friendships, families, hopes and civic leadership as violent demonstrations, firm resistance, "scab" defections and polarized bitterness culminate in the loss of hundreds of jobs when the long strike ends in failure. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

From August 17, 1985 to January 13, 1986, 1422 packinghouse workers in Austin, a small town in rural Minnesota, battled against George A. Hormel & Co., a profitable, paternalistic, and well-paying employer now demanding pay cuts. Their struggle captured the attention of the nation and gained the ardent support of thousands of workers who regarded the battle as the symbol of a revived militantism in trade unions. Hormel was only able to reopen the plant when the National Guard was called in to help break the strike. Not only did the strikers have to fight the company, but they also had to contend with their own international union, which treated them as a rogue local. Told with verve and gusto by two reporters from the Minneapolis Star Tribune who covered the strike. Recommended for subject collections.
- Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll . , CUNY
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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